For those of you newer readers who don’t know about my mom, she was one of the greatest fighters I have ever met (and I do know a few elite level MMA crazies, so…). What I mean by that is that when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she fought through an incredible number of years going the natural route. She stayed active, she committed to overall health both inwardly and outwardly. She worked on healing relationships and making new and lasting ones with the idea that all of this would allow her body to naturally fight this horrible sickness. What blew my mind about my mother the most was that when she was seemingly at her worst, and I mean stage-4 cancer, disintegrated spine, major osteoporosis, rapid weight loss and probably a whole list of things I am forgetting, she still lived. With all these problems, she still cooked almost every single meal. And a meal for her would easily average an hour or two because it was 100% real food. She consumed nothing processed, nothing fake at all. She would walk twice a day, sometime for over an hour. Put this into perspective people, so many of us seemingly “healthy” people make excuses to not workout, be active, and make our own food every single day. Our country is fatter and sicker than ever before. And yet there was this frail, horrendously falling apart woman who chose to pursue what she believed and loved every single day. She made no excuses, she smiled every day, and she hoped to leave us all with the feeling of deep love in the end. And I would argue that her ultimate goal in life was achieved. She proved that living a life that you can respect and smile about is way better than choosing excuses, prescription drugs, tons of surgeries and a long, painful death.
Now I don’t want to paint a completely positive picture of her, while she inspired so much good, there was plenty she did that caused pain in our family. But this is also something she taught me; to be straightforward about how you feel and to face those feeling with honesty and a clear mind. She strived to be the best woman she could be to all of us, and to everyone in her life. And while she slipped up here and there, she clearly found success in the pursuit of what she wanted out of life.
I am especially aware of her missing in my life around this time of year because we used to go see the Cherry Blossoms together in Kenwood, MD. We would stroll around, talking, silent, laughing, thinking, and just soaking in the power of the beauty of those flowers. One of the most vivid memories I have of her was her spinning and spinning around with her arms out when a gust of wind blew and covered us in a snow-fall of pick flower pedals. It doesn’t matter who you are, there was something so touching about the joy and freedom she clearly felt in those moments. It was impossible not to smile.
I miss her. I hope to remember every day that the best way to live life is to do what you feel deep down to be right. It doesn’t matter if people disagree with you, try to hold you back, argue with you, or even fight you. If you believe in it with all your heart, good things will happen in your life. And when the end comes, you can look back on everything you did, everything you stood for, and be proud. My mother was proud of all of us, and I am so proud to have had her as a driving force in my life for so long.
Happy belated Birthday, Mom!
Never Stop, GET FIT.